Renee Montgomery
Renee Montgomery 20161011.jpg
Atlanta Dream and FCF Beasts
PositionOwner
Personal information
Born (1986-12-02) December 2, 1986 (age 35)
St. Albans, West Virginia
NationalityAmerican
Listed height5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Listed weight139 lb (63 kg)
Career information
High schoolSouth Charleston
(South Charleston, West Virginia)
CollegeUConn (2005–2009)
WNBA draft2009 / Round: 1 / Pick: 4th overall
Selected by the Minnesota Lynx
Playing career2009–2019
Career history
2009Minnesota Lynx
2009–2010VICI Aistes Kaunas
2010–2011Maccabi Bnot Ashdod
20102014Connecticut Sun
2012–2013Nadezhda Orenburg
2014–2015Vologda-Chevakata
2015Seattle Storm
20152017Minnesota Lynx
2015–2016Canberra Capitals
2016–2017Basket Gdynia
2017–2018Maccabi Ramat Hen
2018–2019Atlanta Dream
Career highlights and awards
Stats at WNBA.com

Renee Danielle Montgomery (born December 2, 1986) is an American former professional basketball player, sports broadcaster and activist who is currently vice president, part-owner, and investor of the Atlanta Dream, and one of three owners of the FCF Beasts Indoor Football Team; making her the first player in the WNBA to become an owner and executive of a team and first female owner in the FCF. During her 11-year playing career in the Women's National Basketball Association, she won two championships with the Minnesota Lynx in 2015 and 2017. During her college playing career, she won a national championship with the UConn Huskies in 2009.[1] In 2020, Montgomery opted-out of the WNBA season in protest of police brutality, bringing forth awareness throughout the league and leading to multiple campaigns dedicated to human rights.

High school

Montgomery was a high school teammate of fellow future WNBA player Alexis Hornbuckle at South Charleston High School, where she was a captain each year of her high school career. She led the school to the West Virginia state Championships three times, averaging 22.5 points, six assists, five rebounds and five steals while leading the school to the West Virginia Class AAA Final as a senior. She also played on the varsity soccer team.[1]

College career

She attended the University of Connecticut.

Freshman year

She started 35 of the Huskies' 37 games at point guard and was named 2006 Big East Freshman of the Year.[1]

Sophomore year

Montgomery started in all 36 games as the Huskies' point guard. She tallied double-figure points in 29 games, including four 20-point plus scoring efforts. Montgomery led the team with a 13.3 scoring average and 163 assists. She was named first team All-Big East. In addition, Montgomery led the USA U-20 National Team to a gold medal during the summer prior to the start of the season at the FIBA U-20 Championship for Women in Mexico City.[1]

Junior year

Montgomery was selected as an All-Big East First Team choice for the second consecutive season. She was also selected to the All-Big East Tournament Team for the third consecutive season. Montgomery moved to the shooting guard slot on January 19, following a season-ending injury to Mel Thomas, after playing the majority of her career at point guard. She passed the 1,000 point mark in an 82–71 UConn win over North Carolina on January 21, 2008 at Gampel Pavilion. The Huskies lost in the Final Four to Stanford and finished the season at 36–2.[1]

Senior year

Montgomery reached double figure points in all but four games this season, and led the Huskies to a 39–0 season and her first and only National Championship.[2] She finished her career in the Top Ten of many categories in the UConn women's basketball recordbooks including No. 1 in games played (150), No. 6 in career points (1,990), No. 6 in FG's (703), No. 4 in 3pt FG's (254), No. 9 in FT's (330), No. 3 in Assists (632), and No. 5 in Steals (266). She was the first Husky to be recognized in the "Huskies of Honor" while still playing in a Husky uniform.[3]

Sports Illustrated did a series of thirteen photographs featuring teams chasing or achieving perfect seasons—an entire season without a loss. The photograph of Coach Geno Auriemma embracing Renee Montgomery during the 2008–09 season is included in the collection.[4]

Professional career

WNBA

Montgomery during the WNBA Finals in 2017
Montgomery during the WNBA Finals in 2017

Montgomery was selected fourth overall in the 2009 WNBA Draft by the Minnesota Lynx.[5]

In 2010, Montgomery was traded to the Connecticut Sun, as part of a trade involving Minnesota native Lindsay Whalen and the first pick in the 2010 draft, with which the Sun selected Tina Charles, Montgomery's former college teammate.[6] In college, Montgomery wore 20 as a uniform number. Players often become attached to their numbers, some more than others. Renee liked her number so much that her personal website is reneemontgomery20.com.[7] The Sun also added veteran Kara Lawson to the team, who had worn No. 20 in college and with the Sacramento Monarchs, so Montgomery wore No. 21 for the Sun.[8]

During the 2009–10 collegiate basketball season, Montgomery occasionally worked as a color commentator for women's college games broadcast on the ESPN family of networks.

During the 2011 WNBA season, Montgomery had the best season of her career once she became the starting point guard for the Sun. She averaged 14.6 ppg and was voted as an all-star for the first time in her career.

In 2012, Montgomery came off the bench for the Sun, but was still effective, averaging 11.6 ppg and winning WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year. The Sun made it to the playoffs that year and were one win away from advancing to the Finals, but were eliminated by the eventual champions Indiana Fever in game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

On January 28, 2015, the Connecticut Sun traded Montgomery along with their third and fifteen overall picks in the 2015 WNBA draft to the Seattle Storm in exchange for Camille Little and Shekinna Stricklen.[9]

On July 20, 2015, Montgomery was reacquired by the Minnesota Lynx in a trade for Monica Wright.[10] Montgomery ended up winning her first WNBA championship with the Lynx after they defeated the Indiana Fever in the Finals.

In 2016, Montgomery played a full season for the Lynx for the first time since her rookie season. She averaged 7.5 ppg off the bench and the Lynx were in the hunt to win back-to-back championships, but lost to the Los Angeles Sparks in the Finals.

In 2017, Montgomery averaged 8.0 ppg and achieved a new career-high in field goal shooting percentage. Montgomery also started in 12 of 34 games played while Whalen was sidelined with a hand injury. The Lynx continued to be a championship contender in the league after making it to the Finals for the sixth time in seven seasons, setting up a rematch with the Sparks. This time the Lynx would win in 5 games, winning their fourth championship in seven seasons, tying the now-defunct Houston Comets for most championship titles.

On February 1, 2018, Montgomery signed a multi-year contract with the Atlanta Dream.[11] She would be the starting point guard for the team. On August 12, 2018, Montgomery scored a season-high 30 points along with a career-high 8 three-pointers in an 86–77 victory over the New York Liberty, tying the regular season record for most three-pointers in a game. She also hit 7 of her 8 three-pointers in the second half, breaking the WNBA record for most three-pointers in a half.[12] By the end of the season, Montgomery set the franchise record for most three-pointers made in a season. The Dream finished 23–11 with the number 2 seed in the league, receiving a double-bye to the semi-finals. Without the team's leading scorer Angel McCoughtry, who was sidelined with a knee injury, the Dream were short-handed in the playoffs and lost in five games to the Washington Mystics.

In June 2020, Montgomery announced that she would forgo the 2020 WNBA season due to concerns of racism and the coronavirus.[13] In February 2021, she announced her retirement from the WNBA.[2]

Overseas

In the 2009-10 off-season, Montgomery played in Lithuania for BC VIČI-Aistės Kaunas. In the 2010-11 off-season, she played in Israel for Maccabi Bnot Ashdod. In the 2012-13 off-season, she played in Russia for Nadezhda Orenburg. In the 2013–14 off-season, she played for Tarsus in Turkey and for Vologda-Chevakata in Russia; in the 2014-15 off-season, she again played for Vologda-Chevakata. In the 2015-16 off-season, she played in Australia for the Canberra Capitals. She signed with Basket 90 Gdynia in Poland for the 2016-17 off-season.[14] In 2017, Montgomery signed with Maccabi Ramat Hen of the Israeli League for the 2017-18 off-season.[1]

USA Basketball

Montgomery at USA National team versus USA Select team scrimmage
Montgomery at USA National team versus USA Select team scrimmage

Montgomery was invited to the USA Basketball Women's National Team training camp in the fall of 2009. The team selected to play for the FIBA World Championship and the Summer Olympics is usually chosen from these participants.[15]

At the conclusion of the training camp, the team traveled to Ekaterinburg, Russia, where they competed in the 2009 UMMC Ekaterinburg International Invitational.[15]

Montgomery was one of twenty players named to the national team pool, from which twelve players would be chosen to represent the US in the 2010 FIBA World Championships and the 2012 Olympics.[16]

Montgomery was named as one of the National team members to represent the USA Basketball team in the WNBA versus USA Basketball.[17] This game replaced the normal WNBA All-Star game with WNBA All-Stars versus USA Basketball, as part of the preparation for the FIBA World Championship for Women to be held in the Czech Republic during September and October 2010.[18]

Career statistics

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game  RPG  Rebounds per game
 APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game  BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game
 TO  Turnovers per game  FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 Bold  Career high ° League leader

College

Renee Montgomery Statistics[19][20] at University of Connecticut
Year GP GS Min Avg FG FGA Pct 3FG FGA Pct FT FTA Pct OR DR Reb Avg PF FO Ast TO Blk Stl Pts Avg
2005–06 37 35 1035 28 124 288 0.431 39 116 0.336 43 54 0.796 26 54 80 2.2 52 0 123 81 3 63 330 8.9
2006–07 36 36 1136 31.6 177 403 0.439 46 148 0.311 79 113 0.699 19 80 99 2.8 53 0 163 95 5 70 479 13.3
2007–08 38 38 1197 31.5 176 468 0.376 70 225 0.311 115 145 0.793 27 70 97 2.6 55 0 147 75 7 72 537 14.1
2008–09 39 39 1237 31.7 226 505 0.448 99 260 0.381 93 125 0.744 18 64 82 2.1 41 0 199 100 9 61 644 16.5
Totals 150 148 4605 30.7 703 1664 0.422 254 749 0.339 330 437 0.755 90 268 358 2.4 201 0 632 351 24 266 1990 13.3

WNBA

Denotes seasons in which Montgomery won a WNBA championship

Regular season

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG TO PPG
2009 Minnesota 34 9 22.5 .408 .347 .833 1.9 2.1 0.7 0.3 1.9 9.0
2010 Connecticut 34 23 27.6 .401 .349 .855 2.2 4.1 1.3 0.1 2.2 13.3
2011 Connecticut 34 34 29.1 .400 .384 .829 2.1 4.9 1.4 0.1 2.6 14.6
2012 Connecticut 34 0 24.0 .348 .364 .848 1.9 2.6 1.0 0.1 2.2 11.6
2013 Connecticut 23 18 27.2 .365 .327 .897 1.8 3.1 0.7 0.0 2.4 10.1
2014 Connecticut 33 0 16.2 .373 .330 .775 0.8 2.4 0.6 0.1 1.3 6.7
2015* Seattle 17 2 17.8 .377 .392 .870 1.8 3.0 0.9 0.2 2.0 7.1
2015* Minnesota 17 5 17.9 .368 .232 .714 1.2 2.5 0.6 0.1 1.0 5.7
2015 Total 34 7 17.8 .372 .312 .759 1.5 2.7 0.7 0.1 1.0 6.4
2016 Minnesota 34 2 19.3 .397 .321 .828 0.9 2.8 0.9 0.1 1.7 7.5
2017 Minnesota 34 12 21.8 .424 .358 .842 1.6 3.4 0.7 0.1 1.7 8.0
2018 Atlanta 34 34 27.5 .389 .371 .881 1.7 3.7 1.3 0.1 1.6 10.3
2019 Atlanta 34 34 27.9 .370 .324 .824 2.2 2.6 0.9 0.2 1.9 9.5
Career 10 years, 5 teams 364 173 23.6 .386 .347 .840 1.7 3.1 1.0 0.1 1.9 9.7

Postseason

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG TO PPG
2011 Connecticut 2 2 28.5 .471 .333 .875 1.5 4.5 0.5 0.5 3.5 13.0
2012 Connecticut 5 0 24.0 .393 .412 .833 1.2 3.4 0.4 0.0 1.4 6.8
2015 Minnesota 9 0 9.7 .478 .308 .875 0.3 0.9 0.6 0.1 0.5 3.7
2016 Minnesota 8 0 12.6 .370 .444 .900 0.4 1.9 0.5 0.0 1.0 4.1
2017 Minnesota 8 0 17.1 .449 .393 .500 1.3 1.9 0.5 0.2 1.2 7.0
2018 Atlanta 5 5 31.7 .293 .286 .846 2.0 4.2 0.2 0.2 1.8 8.6
Career 6 years, 3 teams 37 7 17.9 .400 .356 .851 0.9 2.3 0.5 0.1 1.2 6.1

Post-playing career

Ownership of Atlanta Dream

In February 2021, Montgomery was part of a three-member investor group that was approved to purchase the Atlanta Dream. The ownership change followed pressure on former owner Kelly Loeffler, a Republican former U.S. Senator who had angered WNBA players with her opposition to the league's racial justice initiatives, to sell her share of the Dream.[21][22][23][24] Loeffler had previously refused a visit with Montgomery on social justice initiatives.[21][24]

Ownership of FCF Beasts

On January 4, 2021, Montgomery joined Miro and Marshawn Lynch as a partial owner of the FCF Beasts of Fan Controlled Football.[25]

Broadcasting

In 2020, Montgomery began working as a studio analyst for Fox Sports Southeast's broadcasts of Atlanta Hawks games. She had previously appeared on the network as a guest analyst.[23]

In March 2021, Montgomery was announced as the co-host of a Crooked Media podcast titled Takeline with Jason Concepcion.[26]

Montgomery called 2021 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament games for ESPN alongside Beth Mowins.[27]

In September 2021, Montgomery joined Meadowlark Media, for which she makes the podcast Montgomery & Co..[28]

Personal life

In April 2020, Montgomery married music artist Sirena Grace.[29]

Awards and honors

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Renee Montgomery". WNBA.com.
  2. ^ a b "Dream's Montgomery retiring following 11-year WNBA career". AP News. February 9, 2021. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  3. ^ Jacobs, Jeff (February 28, 2009). "One Honor Left For Montgomery". Retrieved June 9, 2009.
  4. ^ "In Search of Perfection". SI Kids (Sports Illustrated). Archived from the original on April 22, 2015.
  5. ^ "WNBA Draft 2009". Retrieved June 9, 2009.
  6. ^ Boyer, Zac (January 12, 2010). "Sun Make A Deal: Renee Montgomery Coming, Lindsay Whalen Going". Courant.com. Retrieved May 15, 2010.
  7. ^ "The Official Site of Renee Montgomery". ReneeMontgomery20.com. Archived from the original on May 13, 2010. Retrieved May 15, 2010.
  8. ^ Altavilla, John (February 2, 2010). "What's In A Number?". Courant.com. Archived from the original on January 20, 2013. Retrieved May 15, 2010.
  9. ^ Feinberg, Doug (January 28, 2015). "Connecticut Sun trade Renee Montgomery, No. 3 pick in WNBA Draft". New Haven Register. AP. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  10. ^ Shun, Alexander (July 20, 2015). "Lynx Acquire Guard Renee Montgomery - Minnesota Lynx". Minnesota Lynx. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  11. ^ "Atlanta Dream Sign Two-Time WNBA Champion Renee Montgomery". WNBA.com. February 1, 2018. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  12. ^ "Atlanta's Renee Montgomery hits 8 3s to tie WNBA record". USA Today. AP. August 12, 2018.
  13. ^ Maloney, Jack (July 18, 2020). "WNBA 2020 season: Jonquel Jones, Liz Cambage, Tina Charles among players sitting out". CBS Sports.
  14. ^ "2016-2017 WNBA Overseas Signings". Women's Basketball 24.7. August 22, 2016. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  15. ^ a b "USA Basketball Women's National Team To Tip-Off Training Tomorrow In D.C." USA Basketball. Retrieved October 1, 2009.
  16. ^ "Charles, Moore lead U.S. pool additions". ESPN. March 3, 2010. Retrieved March 3, 2010.
  17. ^ "Six Olympic Gold Medalists Among 11-Member Team Set To Participate In WNBA vs. USA Basketball: The Stars at the Sun Game". USA Basketball. June 30, 2010. Archived from the original on July 7, 2010. Retrieved July 5, 2010.
  18. ^ "FIBA World Championship for Women". FIBA. Archived from the original on July 10, 2010. Retrieved July 5, 2010.
  19. ^ "UConn Media Guide" (PDF). Retrieved June 9, 2009.
  20. ^ "UConn Huskies Stats". Retrieved June 9, 2009.
  21. ^ a b Zirin, Dave (March 3, 2021). "Kelly Loeffler Just Lost Her WNBA Team to a Player She Refused to Meet". The Nation. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  22. ^ Holmes, Juwan J. (February 27, 2021). "Kelly Loeffler is out as owner of WNBA team that protested against her. An out Black woman is in". LGBTQ Nation. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  23. ^ a b West, Jenna (February 26, 2021). "Who Is Atlanta Dream's New Owner Renee Montgomery?". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved March 4, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  24. ^ a b "Dream sold to group after pressure on Loeffler". ESPN.com. February 26, 2021. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  25. ^ Owens, Jason (January 4, 2021). "WNBA's Renee Montgomery joins Marshawn Lynch ownership group in football startup featuring Johnny Manziel". Yahoo Sports. Archived from the original on January 16, 2021.
  26. ^ White, Peter (March 4, 2021). "Crooked Media's Jason Concepcion Launches Podcast 'Takeline' With Ex-WNBA Star Renee Montgomery & Video Series 'All Caps NBA'". Deadline. Retrieved March 4, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  27. ^ "UConn women's notes: An old friend joins the ESPN broadcast team in Montgomery". The Day. March 21, 2021. Retrieved March 24, 2021.
  28. ^ "Podcast News Daily: Five New Shows Lined Up At Meadowlark Media". Inside Radio. September 14, 2021.
  29. ^ Mizoguchi, Karen (November 11, 2021). "Renee Montgomery Is Married! Atlanta Dream Co-Owner and Wife Sirena Grace Detail 'Special' Wedding". People magazine. Retrieved November 28, 2021.
  30. ^ "PAST WINNERS". The Nancy Lieberman Award. Archived from the original on October 7, 2011.
  31. ^ "Past Honda Sports Award Winners For Basketball". ThE Collegiate Women Sports Awards. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
  32. ^ "Montgomery among 5 finalists". June 15, 2009. Retrieved June 16, 2009.
  33. ^ "The Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award". WBCA. Archived from the original on November 8, 2011. Retrieved July 15, 2011.
  34. ^ Atkinson, Tommy R. (December 24, 2009). "2009 Gazette Sportsperson of the Year". The Charleston Gazette. Archived from the original on December 30, 2009.